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Social Science : History
Early Tamil Society and Culture
VI. Answer the following in detail
1. To what extent do you think the political powers of Tamilagam influenced Sangam Age polity?
• In the Iron Age people were organised into
Chiefdoms : From such communitives emerged the vendhars, thus the sangam Age has its roots.
• The Cheras
• The Cholas
• The Pandyas.
• The region ruled by the Cheras was the present - day Kerala and Western parts of Tamilnadu.
• Capital - Vanchi, Port towns - Muciri and Thondi. Pathirtuppathur speaks about the cheras. Garland - flowers of the palm tree. Symbol - the bow and arrow.
(Brother of Cheran Senguttuvan Ilavyu composed the silappathikaram)
• The region ruled by the cholas was the kaveri delta and northern parts of Tamilnadu. Capital - Uraiyur. Port town - Pumpuhar (Kaveripoompattinam) - Pattinappaalai speaks about Kaveripoompattinam Symbol - Tiger.
(Karikalan built Kallanai)
• The region ruled by the Pandyas was the Southern part of Tamilnadu. Capital - Madurai. Port town - Korkai. Tamil literary tradition speaks about the Tamilsangams symbol - Fish.
(The mangalam Tamil - Brahmi inscription mentions king Nedunchezhiyan)
2. Indicate how the industries and crafts of the sangam Age contribute to their economy.
Contribution of the industries and crafts of the sangam age to their economy:
• Agriculture, Pastoralism, trade and money exchange, hunting - gathering and fishing were practiced depending upon the eco - zones in which the people lived.
• Agriculture was one of the main sources of subsistance. By practicing both wet and dry land framing, crops like paddy, sugarcane and millets were cultivated. Nomadic people earned livelihood by rearing cattle, sheep and goat.
• There were professional groups that produced various commodities. The system of production of commodities is industry.
• Different types of pottery were made for daily activities. (Black ware, russet - coated painted ware, black and red ware)
• Iron smelting was in traditional furnaces (Implements for agriculture, Swords, daggers and spears were made)
• Variety of ornaments and gold ornaments were produced. (Clay, terracotta, iron, precious stones, Copper and golds were used to make ornaments)
• Glass beeads were made in various colours and shape.
• Conch shells were cut and crafted into bangles, also there was pearl fishery.
STUDENT ACTIVITIES (For Students)
• Mark on the map of South India, the ancient Tamilagam and the territories of Tamil kingdoms. Visit a museum and collect information about inscriptions, coins and instruments used by the ancient people.
• Visit the early historic sites of Arikkamedu, Kaveripoompattinam, Keezhadi etc.,
• Conduct a study on materials excavated from prehistoric sites and on Tamil-Brahmi script.
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